By: Sean Crose
Although there has been much deserved love directed at Kyrone Davis after the last minute replacement opponent’s incredibly game performance against David Benavidez this past weekend, Benavidez himself deserves some credit for a brutally effective breakdown of a brave, skilled and determined opponent. Benavidez not only emerged victorious on Saturday night in Phoenix, but his trust in his own power led to Davis’ corner mercifully and intelligently throwing in the towel in the seventh. In short, Benavidez stepped into the ring with a very live opponent, and was able to exit it with another win on his resume.
Now, of course, the boxing world is looking towards the future. With Canelo Alvarez having successfully stopped the talented Caleb Plant last weekend in order to become the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world, Benavidez is looking like a logical next opponent. Canelo, however, has plenty of logical next options. He can still engage Gennady Golovkin in a high profile third match, or face the undefeated middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo, or even move up to light heavyweight once more. As far as Benavidez is concerned, however, there’s one opponent for him to square off against that makes all the sense in the world and that’s the biggest star in boxing.
“I feel like I deserve that fight,” Benavidez claimed after his win on Saturday night, “so until I get that fight I’m going to keep knocking down whoever they put in front of me.” Benavidez added that “the fans are going to keep asking for that fight.” The man might well be right. Although there’s certainly plenty of name opponents for Canelo to face next, the thought of a Canelo-Benavidez bout is nothing if not interesting. “I feel like I’m a bigger guy,” Benavidez told reporters. “I’m a stronger guy, I have a lot of speed.”
Not that Benavidez feels Canelo would be some walk in the park. Far from it. “I know a fight with Canelo won’t be easy,” he said. “I’m willing to give my heart and soul to get the victory. And I know I could get it done.” And if he isn’t able to get it done? “Obviously this is a very hard fight with me and Canelo,” he claimed, “the hardest fight of my career. There are no guarantees. But the work you put in is guaranteed. I’m willing to work as hard as I can to make sure I secure a victory and be in my best possible mental and physical place of my life.”
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